When I was a boy, the movie “The Exorcist” first came out. I was a very young believer and was naturally curious about the devil and demonic activity. Plus, all my friends were going to see it. So despite the fact I was too young to be admitted into the theater (the film was rated R), I went to see it. Bad idea. Although by today’s standards the movie’s special effects are primitive and almost laughable, that movie scared me silly. I didn’t sleep with the lights off for weeks!
The truly sad part was that for a period of time after seeing the movie, I gave the devil way too much credit. I worried that he was just waiting for some sin in my life, some rebellion against God, any crack in the dam of my faith and he would charge in and exploit that — maybe even possess me just like he did little Regan in the film. The devil’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy, and I let him steal from me my peace, kill my joy, and destroy my effectiveness for Christ for a time.
I’m afraid that many of us do the same thing — we give the devil too much credit. And we’re old enough to know better! When Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, the devil’s power over you is limited. His schemes are only as effective as you allow them to be.
A gifted Bible teacher once told me he could sum up the book of Revelation in two words: God wins. I like that, because I know that because He lives, I will live; because He reigns, I, too will reign; because He wins, I win.
This week, we’ve been exploring the subject of Spiritual Warfare in our Daily Devotionals. We’ve been reminded to walk in our authority as a child of the King, that we are well equipped for the fight, and that the Angels of God get involved with us to take back what the devil has stolen.
Here’s the bottom line: God wins. Through Him I can be more than a conqueror. In His strength, I can resist the devil and he will flee from me. And I can rest in the assurance that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.
Walk in victory in Jesus’ name!
Scripture Of The Day:“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (ESV)
The most important truth about spiritual warfare is that it is first and foremost a work of love. Not love for the struggle, or the love of “saving souls” or of victory. It’s a work of love for God’s Kingdom, and love for the people Jesus was crucified over — which is each and every one. Some people have an easier time with loving. Their emotional makeup and life circumstances make it easier for them to make their love effective. It’s much easier to love if you’ve been loved. Many people have a much harder time of loving. They’re burdened with a heavy load of taunting, fear, oppression, or mental disease. Or worse, they haven’t experienced love from anyone and so have no idea what it really is or what it does or how to give it.
The hard truth, though, is noone has enough love on their own to do spiritual warfare. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus says to ask and it will be given. So ask God to enable you to love with God’s love. The Spirit’s more than happy to give you this. But like everything else God gives, it’s made to be real. It will take stubborn, regular prayer, taking risks, and maybe some hard lessons and changes in outlook, for the love to start flowing out of you. If the love isn’t there, it’s like going into battle unarmed and unprepared, straight into the line of fire.
Aren’t you sick and tired of people attacking you; talking down to you; treating you poorly and hurting you greatly. Aren’t you sick and tired of putting up with people’s mess and letting them get away with treating you like you are worthless and useless? You try to be humble and they take advantage of you; you try to be merciful and they don’t appreciate you; you try to forgive, but they keep doing it to you again. If you don’t teach them a lesson; set them straight or cut them off, they will never see you as anything except a punk.
If your co-worker is talking about you; get them back. If your neighbor is treating you rudely; get them back. If your, so-called, friends are falling through on their promises; telling your secrets; and taking advantage of your kindness, get them back. If your church family is rude; your school mates are mean; and your natural family is selfish, get them back.
You say, “How can I get them back? Can I cuss them out; confront them; treat them like they are treating me?” YES, you can, but then that would make you just like them. You can, but that would make you unkind, unmerciful, and ungodly. What should you do? What can you do? You can do what Jesus does…. You can love them and forgive them; you can pray for them and do good to them; you can do what the Word says, so you can be who the Word says….a follower of Christ!
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in doing so thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21 “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44
Get them back by loving the HELL out of them! You could save their life and yours!